Reviews: Archy and Mehitabel, Edge

by Patrick Gauthier

June 23, 2010

Archy and Mehitabel a delight; But Edge more fuzzy than fascinating

by Patrick Langston, Ottawa Citizen
June 22, 2010

Archy and Mehitabel
Ausable Theatre

A pure delight, Jeff Culbert’s take on Don Marquis’ classic early 20th-century poems about an activist cockroach called Archy and his scrappy-but-elegant alley-cat pal named Mehitabel deserves a better venue than the sightline-challenged Janigan Studio at Ottawa Little Theatre. Still, we’ll take whatever we can get of Culbert’s smart script, physical grace and obvious love of Marquis’ observations about humanity’s foibles, which serve as a jumping-off point for Culbert’s own commentary on issues large and small. Culbert also plays a robin, an earthworm, a beetle and other inhabitants of Archy and Mehitabel’s world. He invests each with its own world view and, in some cases, tragic ending. At Janigan Studio, Ottawa Little Theatre until Sunday.

Edge
Written on Water Theatre

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Alas, mixing a film noir detective story with the Greek legend of Iphigenia, quotes from Macbeth, a flood in the city of Windsor, and a soldier’s return from an overseas war just yields a play that’s more often fuzzy than fascinating. Having the show’s five young actors collaborate with playwright Lauren Binhammer on the play’s development may have been one of the reasons that Edge can’t make up its mind what it wants to be or say. The play, which the media release says explores such big issues as whether it’s possible to ever discover the truth, does make inventive use of a lot of garbage cans and a large metal barrel as props. At Arts Court Theatre until Sunday.